Written by Leslie Taylor
UMass Dartmouth marine scientists say they have documented a major increase in the scallop population on Georges Bank.
A video-based survey conducted by the School for Marine Science and Technology over nine weeks showed a 32 percent increase in the scallop population since 2012. That's an increase in scallop meat weight from 243 million pounds two years ago to 320 million pounds this summer.
"We are really excited about this," said Department of Fisheries Oceanography Chair Kevin Stokesbury.
On average, U.S. scallop stock is made up of 8 billion individual shellfish. This study discovered 20 billion additional juvenile scallops in the Nantucket Lightship and along the Southern flank of Georges Bank.
The scallops have not yet matured to commercial size, something Stokesbury said will help sustain the fishery for the next decade.
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